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Ziziphus lotus is a perennial deciduous thorny shrub, that reaches up to 1-3 m and often forms thickets up to 5 m diam. The stems are intricately branched, glabrous with very sharp, stipular spines one of them shorter and curved. The leaves are 1-2 x 0.5-1 cm, with ovate-oblong to broadly elliptic blade, obtuse apex, and crenulate margins, with a minute gland at the top of each crenule. The flowers are 3-4 mm, yellowish and produced solitary or few in clusters at the leaf axil. The fruit is a globose drupe that becomes yellowish at maturity with brown seeds.